The Belfast Soup Kitchen Board of Directors has initiated a Capitol Fundraising Campaign
The Belfast Soup Kitchen Board of Directors has initiated a Capitol Fundraising Campaign to support construction of a new home for the Belfast Soup Kitchen at 29 Belmont Ave, Belfast. Substantial progress is evident at the site; with completion anticipated by January of 2020.
The 3400 square foot building is a custom design that will provide a permanent home, with a commercial kitchen, food storage facilities, serving area, and space to implement and expand their mission to “Feed the Hungry” in Waldo county. Planned space will enable cooperation with other Belfast service groups for programs such as health screenings, adult literacy, and nutrition education.
The proceeds of the Capitol Fund Raising Campaign will be used to retire a construction loan of up to $300,000 that provides a portion of the funding. The primary goal is to open the BSK new home debt free, thereby substantially reducing the operating expenses in future years.
A secondary purpose for funds obtained through this campaign is to establish a reserve account to guarantee financial stability in the reality of continuing increases in the numbers of guests. It is planned that the salary of an Executive Director will be funded also. This new position will enable new programs and extended hours of operation to serve our guests. Meals served during evening hours will benefit families with children.
The BSK has a long history of service to the people in Belfast and surrounding communities in Waldo County. It started as, and remains, almost completely a volunteer organization whose mission is to feed the hungry. The BSK was started (and named) as an outreach program of St Francis church in Belfast. When the church could no longer fund its activities, its imminent closing prompted a group to form a board of directors and solicit community support for its continuation as an independent organization. It was organized as a non-profit 501c(3) charitable organization in 2010. The need, as evidenced by the numbers of guests and meals served, continued to grow. The BSK is now open 5 days/week, 12 months/year, and serves all who come from 10:30AM to 12:30AM for a coffee hour, followed by a nutritious hot lunch, including take home bags of produce and baked goods.
In the last three years (2016 to 2018) the BSK served 20,000 meals or more each year. In 2019 this trend has continued, and the numbers of daily guests have increased from an average of 60 to a peak of 90+. Our guests include (increasingly) the working poor, senior citizens, veterans, the unemployed, working poor, mentally and physically handicapped, and a few homeless: those without other recourse.
The daily operation of the BSK is still dependent on dedicated volunteers and two paid staff for all of the cooking, cleaning, and food gathering. The partnership with Good Shepherd Food Bank as the source and coordinator of food materials has been essential.
The BSK is now operating from a leased facility in Renys Plaza in Belfast, which provides substantial space that accommodates the increased numbers of guests while the permanent home is constructed.
The BSK Board of Directors is confident that the vision of building this community resource will ensure the continuation and expansion of the mission for the people of Belfast and Waldo county, and will be made possible because (as demonstrated many times) “Our Community Cares”.
If you would like to make a donation either to the Capital Campaign or our ongoing Operational Fund, send: to PO Box 1153, Belfast ME. 04915. You may obtain more information at our new website: www.belfastsoupkitchen.org/donate
BSK New Home Architectural Rendering
BSK New Home Construction, August 27, 2019